In the draft Kenya Information and Communications (Universal Service and Access) Regulations, 2016, the Communications Authority of Kenya is looking towards increasing contributions to the Universal Service Fund. The Universal Service Fund was established following the enactment of the Kenya Communications (Amendment) Act, 2009 seeking to promote access to ICT. The sources of the Fund include levies on licensees, appropriations from Government as well as grants and donations.
The fund has so far collected Kshs. 3.94 Billion with Ksh. 1.5 billion has being set aside for the implementation of USF projects focusing on voice and broadband. Currently, players such as telcos contribute 0.5% of their total revenue to the fund and this is set to be increased to 1%. According to CA, Tenders for the implementation of the 1.5 Billion fund will go out later this month with the Authority and technical consultants involved packaging tender documents before inviting for tender bids.
The Authority is hoping to use Kshs. 500 Million of the funds to connect 1,000 schools with broadband services as part of the first phase. A draft Memorandum of Understanding has been sent to the Ministry of Education, to help in the identification of the schools in marginalized counties such as Marsabit, Samburu, Turkana and others. Some of the funds will also be channeled towards increasing voice network in 202 sub-locations with no telecommunication network.